Beebe: US Govt. Will Help With Private Insurance

Apr 2, 2013

Gov. Mike Beebe's office says it has received a letter from the federal government expressing  "conceptual support" for his plan to use Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance for the state's poorer residents.

According to Beebe, the Health and Human Services Department said Arkansas' suggestion is "generally consistent" with goals to expand health insurance coverage. The letter includes an assurance that the federal government will work with the state to implement it.

Beebe said the letter is a written confirmation of previous support expressed by the federal government.

The private-option plan needs a supermajority in the Legislature for approval. Republican legislative leaders have expressed support for the Democratic governor's plan.  

Under Beebe's suggestion, Arkansans making less than $15,415 per year could receive private insurance purchased with federal Medicaid dollars.